It’s amazing to come back thinking that you’re completely over something.
It’s amazing to come back thinking that you’re completely over something.
I’m someone who often has trouble being courageous. I hate feeling vulnerable and being subjected to scrutiny.
I hate being judged. It makes me feel self-conscious, inadequate and makes me feel less than what I’m really worth.
But all of this goes away when I take a step back, channel my inner Beyonce and tell myself, “I am a woman, an agent of change, and someone working on taking their passion and wielding it into power.”
350,000 females die annually from complications during pregnancy or childbirth. 99% of these deaths occur in developing countries, like the Philippines. The National Statistics Office reports 10 maternal deaths per day, leaving more than 30 children motherless. Having a mother around is pretty important for a new born not just for reasons like breast feeding, but the bond between a mother and child can be factor in life or death. When a new born is neglected, a child can stop eating, withdraw, “lose hope” and “lack the impetus to thrive. So in essence this bond creates a resilience in children helping them to survive. Also, the first 2 months after childbirth are very critical months for both mother and child.
Women are dying from things that are for the most part preventable. Dr Mahmoud Fathalla, chair of the WHO advisory Committee on Health Research, once stated that societies are at fault for the deaths of women and mothers because they “have yet to make the decision that [women’s] lives can be saved.” It’s harsh, but true. Most deaths are caused by things like hemorrhage, sepsis, unsafe abortions, obstructed labor and hypertensive diseases of pregnancy. ALL of these things are avoidable with access to adequate reproductive health services, equipment, supplies and skilled healthcare workers. The issue around the world regarding women’s health isn’t just about gender equality, it’s also about accessibility. There’s a huge disparity between women in the rural areas versus the urban, and the urban middle class and the urban poor.
Taking care of women make for stronger societies and healthier children make for surviving societies. If you want to make the world better or see change or get shit done, invest and fight for your women.
To my handsome men in the room. You have not been forgotten. You are just as important as the women I fight for. While there are men that bring women down, there are men, like you who build us up. I want to remind you that you are not the enemy, you are our counterpart.
We must build solidarity not just amongst women but amongst ALL people. Our (men and women) enemies are the lost souls that lack humanity and a conscience, but mainly an understanding that life is to be cherished and not tarnished by hate or hurt. We must fight to help them find their way. As leaders, we need to help guide by educating and empowering, because at the end of the day that’s how we will be able to take action, make change and RISE.
Love fiercely, find strength, be courageous and from there take your passion, wield it into power and make change. I am a strong and beautiful woman working being on becoming fearless and more courageous.
Even if it’s not for women, you should still fight for something that you feel passionate about. Fight because it’s better to fight and fall, than to live without hope.
Morning pep-talk in the shower before heading to the box:
Once it starts becoming more about a competition with other people you begin to lose sight of what’s really important; self-development.
Remember why you started. Stay humble and focus on being better than the person you were yesterday.
… Damn, I do feel strong after today though.
What is love? Love is “a strong affection of another arising out of kinship or personal ties”, “the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration”, an “unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another”. Love is a lot of things. It’s something that many of us are fueled by. It’s something that many of us strive to ultimately attain. We all want love and there’s no denying it.
But why? Why is love so important? Love is important because it brings happiness. It satisfies. It makes us feel whole. For many of us, love serves as a motivating force. For example, someone loves their parents and graduates to make them proud, someone works their ass off to make sure their child has a good future because he or she loves them. Love can also be a motivating factor in getting into the best shape of someone’s life, but that love the love for one’s self and body. Primary focus in the realm of getting fit should be betterment of YOU, not someone else. Don’t get it twisted, but I digress.
My love is stemmed from the passion for living, for others, being better, getting better, the ability to empathize, the want to fix what is broken instead of throwing it away and the belief that love can help save lives. I love because it’s in my nature, it’s innate, and it’s powerful.
Maternal love is powerful, and for children it can be a factor in life or death. I read an article the other day that stated that when a newborn is neglected, the child stops eating, withdraws, “loses hope, and lacks the impetus to thrive”. The child gives up, collapses and withdraws into himself. The article continued to talk about the significance of the bond between mother and child and the closeness creating resilience in children, helping them to survive.
350,000 women die annually from complications during pregnancy or childbirth. 99% of these deaths occur in developing countries, the Philippines being one of them. The National Statistics Office (NSO) reports 10 maternal deaths per day, leaving more than 30 children motherless. Think back to the children losing hope and withdrawing from the lack of maternal care. Children left motherless are up to 10 times more likely to die prematurely than those who are not. In short, women are dying, and when women die, children die. To quote the late, great, and albeit flawed, Whitney Houston, “the children are our future”. Agreed wholeheartedly. Surviving children make for surviving societies, but if children are the future, what then does that make our women?
I believe the women are the present, and ARE a present. We look to our future, have hopes for a better tomorrow. Awesome, but it’s the present that we need to focus on. “The time is now,” and it’s the present that we’re living in. The focus needs to be on women. I want to focus on women, because women are the backbone of our society. They are instrumental in providing strength and support for the family. They are the caregivers and caretakers. They are the ones that are making us arroz caldo when we’re sick. They are the ones that are catering to us. They are the lifeline. The first relationship we make in this world is the relationship with our mothers. It is because of them and their innate drive to love that allowed us to survive the critical first month after birth. It is the love of women, girlfriends, wives, and sisters that helps provide environments that push us to be better and strive for more.
In regards to women’s health, there’s so much that I can talk about. I can talk about how Dr Mahmoud Fathalla stated societies are at fault for the death of women and mothers because they “have yet to make the decision that [women’s] lives can be saved.” It sounds harsh, but technically what Dr Fathalla said is right because the majority of maternal deaths are avoidable. Most deaths are caused by things like hemorrhage, sepsis, unsafe abortions, obstructed labor and hypertensive diseases of pregnancy. All these things are avoidable with access to adequate reproductive health services, equipment, supplies and skilled healthcare workers. There’s a lot of talk about gender inequalities but not enough talk about accessibility, especially disparities among in the rural areas versus urban and the urban middle class and the urban poor. Poor women in remote areas are least likely to receive adequate care. Again, I can go on and at this point I am ranting, but that’s passion and to love is to be passionate and in the end passion is powerful.
What do we do now? We love.
We show love by telling each other we care. We speak up. Women are dying because they don’t have access to adequate health care. I didn’t talk about this but, women are dying because they are being raped. I didn’t talk about this either, but women are dying because of domestic abuse. Women are also dying because we forget how important they are. We forget that a woman bringing life into the world is also putting her own life at risk. This is only one of the many selfless acts of strong women.
We love by investing something of great value, our time and attention. We get engaged. We get involved. We take action through civic engagement, pressing political leaders, creating a demand and fighting for the rights of women who can’t. Tap potential and help people realize that they are (we are) ALL full body agents of change. Don’t think just because you’re not in the medical field or in working in policy that you can make change, because there’s more to the equation. Education, engagement and empowering communities has a huge role in saving the lives of women. You’d be surprised by the affect of what women centers have on a community, but again I digress. Regardless of where we are or who we are, we are all part of one world and we are all part of the same struggle for a better society.
I talk about what I love and why I love with the hopes that maybe someone else can love it too. I hope that sharing the love and helping people understand why can help increase the effort in saving women. Maternal health is no longer a privilege, it’s a human right. To give love is to give life.
Tumblr is very reminiscent of Xanga. Posting here is very cathartic and entertaining. I enjoy laughing about all the soft shit that I post.
*Kanye Voice* Oooh, I’m so sensitive.
Must. Get. Out. Of. Rut. ASAP.
I have this little habit of asking people to “make me better”. It’s a good thing to ask for help because sometimes it means you acknowledge a room for growth and what not, but there comes a time when constantly relying on others becomes a handicap. Right now, I feel like I have that handicap. I’m a gimp and I rely too much on the strength of others. The last person that I ever look to ask (to ‘make me better’) is myself. Now why is that?
Tick tick goes the hands of the clock. Honesty hour.
I’ve never looked to myself for strength or betterment because more often times than not, I feel inadequate. Someone recently asked me why I didn’t do something and I simply relied, “I don’t trust myself.” Looking back at my answer, I realized that I lied unknowingly and was a bit too quick to answer. The answer should have been, “I don’t have the confidence in myself.” My lack of confidence stems from fear of stepping out of my comfort zone and a fear of the unknowing which usually translates to a lack of understanding.
Note to self: To be continued. Topic has been tabled.
It was always easier to fall asleep next to him. He didn’t have to hold me. He didn’t have to whisper sweet nothings or even have to kiss me good night. There was never a ritual. I never needed warm milk and honey, a massage or sounds of the ocean. All I needed was him beside me.
There’s a huge comfort sleeping next to someone you love. The comfort might stem from a number of things like warmth of another body next to yours, the thought of waking up next to someone, the hypnotic sound of their patterned breathing, the reverberating lub-dubbing of their heart beat… all things that I kind of miss.
Excuse me while I FSTOW (feel some type of way).
Excerpt from Surgeons Do Not Cry by Dr Ting Tiongco
One cannot survive in the clinics in PGH without professional detachment. A doctor, or any medical worker for that matter, has to learn to draw a line between his personal emotions and the job he has to do, if he is ever going to be able to do it well. Even as he inevitably gets to know his patient not just as a medical case but also as a person with a name, a family, a personal history of the usual vicissitudes of life which the doctor may find personal references to, the doctor still has to consider that developing personal and emotional ties with the patient and his family may cloud his professional judgment and his course of action in treating the patient. Surgeons operating on members of their own families are usually frowned upon, and rightly so.
Thus there are doctors, especially surgeons, who have steeled themselves to be perfunctory with their patients and their families, not only because they may lack the time to be friendly, but also because they are afraid to come too close. Of course, they run the risk of being labeled unfeeling and callous. But that is a doctor’s professional hazard; and a much preferred one than having to be emotionally eviscerated every time a patient takes a turn for the worse or dies on him.
But there are unavoidable exceptions.
Cherry was a 6 year old female child brought to PGH by the Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD). She was a battered child who was finally snatched from her mother by the neighbors who could no longer stand the little child’s screaming from their hovel in a squatter area in Caloocan.
According to the DSWD worker and the subsequent newspaper reports, Cherry’s mother, Louella, worked as a dancer in the clubs that line the highway in Bulacan. Through the years, she lost the bloom of her youth and descended the depths to drug use and dependency. She never knew who Cherry’s father was as she shacked up with one man after the other.
The last man she lived with was also a drug dependent. He disliked and maltreated Cherry, and when he left them, Cherry’s mother blamed her for his leaving. So she continued the maltreatment of the child.
The child’s screams of pain would be heard regularly in their squatter neighborhood when the mother would come home from hustling in the nearby bars. In the morning, the neighbors would notice cigarette burns and bruises on the Cherry’s arms and legs. But the neighbors were afraid to intervene.
That particular night, Cherry’s screams for mercy were too agonizing for the neighbors to bear, so they broke down the hovel’s flimsy door and found a stark raving mad Louella holding a bloody bamboo barbecue stick. She had just put out both of Cherry’s eyes. They bound her and brought both mother and child to the police station. Cherry was subsequently rushed by the DSWD to the PGH.
In PGH, the ophthalmologists ruled that there was really nothing much they could do for Cherry’s eyes except to cover her with antibiotics. But hidden from the view of her neighbors by her flimsy dress were second and third degree burns on her back and front torso, caused by the repeated application of a hot iron by her demented mother. These were in various stages of suppuration and were the immediate threats to her brief and brutal life.
So they brought her to the burn unit of the Department of Surgery. Cherry was just one intense raw nerve when they brought her, blind and cowering, to the hospital. She had to be fully sedated for us to assess her physical condition. A child psychologist and psychiatrist were assigned to her on a 24 hour basis.
And wonder of all wonders, as the days wore on, we found a very pleasant child who showed no anger and resentment at all the viciousness that she had gone through. She never even questioned the fact that she could no longer see. She had a ready smile for everyone of the PGH personnel who regularly dropped by her bed to talk to her and to bring her whatever goodies they could, not to pity her but to show her that the world was not really as cruel as what she had gone through in the six short years of her life.
As the burn unit resident, I brought her a little radio that she liked to listen to all day and she would happily sing to me the songs she learned the day before. I marveled at Man’s capacity for evil; and in my mind, I gladly tore her mother from limb to limb everyday as I treated Cherry’s burns. It took a lot of time, determination and prayers for me to learn not to hate her mother. I cut out Louella’s picture from the newspaper and pasted it on the inside of my locker door to remind me that this wild, wide-eyed, disheveled mad woman was as much a victim as my little patient.
I learned a lot from Cherry.
Treating second and third degree burns requires daily washing and snipping away of the dead burnt flesh to prevent the focus and spread of infection that could cause severe septicemia and death. Such procedures are intensely painful and in spite of the biggest dose of sedatives and painkillers her small body could stand, this was the only time Cherry would cry and call over and over again, tears brimming over her blind mutilated eyes:
“INAY! INAY! NASAAN KA, INAY?! BAKIT MO AKO INIWAN…..?!” (Mom! Mom! Where are you? Why did you leave me…..?!)
It broke my heart every time.
Forgiveness is not an easy lesson to learn.
I ran a little harder today because I thought of you. I thought of the times I wish you had fought for me, and I for you. As my heart pounded and my legs burned, I thought about wanting to be better for you. I wanted to look better and be stronger just for you. You never asked for it, but I wanted to take initiative. I wanted to do this all for you because I wanted you back, but then like a breath of fresh air, a second wind, a glass of cold water to the face, I snapped out of it.
I don’t want to be better for you. I want to be better for myself. You didn’t fight for me and although there are many different reasons, I didn’t fight for you either and I need to remember that.